Wednesday, May 8, 2019

City launches housing survey for affordable housing plan

Posted By on Wed, May 8, 2019 at 10:19 AM

click to enlarge COURTESY OF APARTMENT LIST
  • Courtesy of Apartment List
The city's Community Development Division launched an online housing survey to gather information from residents about affordability and other challenges related to finding a place to rent or own.

The anonymous survey, accessible online, will remain open until June 16. It's meant to inform the city's forthcoming comprehensive housing plan, which will lay a framework for adding 1,000 units of affordable housing each year. That plan is due for release later this year.

For more information about the survey, contact Community Development staff at communitydevelopment@coloradosprings.gov or 385-5912.

Median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Colorado Springs is $1,240 — higher than the national average of $1,180, according to a recent report from Apartment List. Rents here have increased 1.7 percent over the past year, a growth rate below the state average of 2.2 percent (but above the national average of 1.5 percent).

click to enlarge COURTESY OF APARTMENT LIST
  • Courtesy of Apartment List

In May of 2014, median rent for a two-bedroom in Colorado Springs was just $957, according to Apartment List's data. That means the city saw rent increase by 30 percent over five years.

Meanwhile, the city's median household income increased by 7 percent between 2012 and 2017, the last five years for which the U.S. Census Bureau has data available.

A 2014 housing needs assessment funded by the city and county predicted a shortage of almost 14,000 units for households making up to 80 percent of area median income — now calculated at about $65,000 for a family of four — by 2019. The comprehensive housing plan will include reassessing housing stock to determine whether the 2014 predictions were accurate, Community Development Division Manager Steve Posey has said.

Posey told the Independent in March that the city is looking at incentives for developers to reduce the cost of building affordable housing. Those could include breaks on tap fees (charges for connecting new housing to water lines) or building permit fees.

The Colorado Assembly recently passed House Bill 1228, which increases the amount of available Affordable Housing Tax Credits from $5 million to $10 million annually. That will free up more funding for affordable housing projects across the state, awarded through a competitive application process.

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